For some people, birthdays are a horrible reminder of what they don’t want to think about – all those trips they didn’t take, the things they didn’t achieve and how little time they have to make their dreams a reality. Personally I just can’t understand these people, I don’t understand how anyone wouldn’t be excited to celebrate their birthday and all the wonderful things they have accomplished since the last one. I can’t help but love birthdays – a chance to celebrate your awesomeness with the people you love – it sounds pretty amazing to me. So I’ve always been the sort of person who likes to organise a big do with lots of friends and family – I usually end up having about three separate celebrations with different people just because I see it as a good excuse to spend time with my favourites. Yeah it sounds a bit like I’m spoilt, and lucky me I am, spoilt to have so many amazing friends and family that I want to spend time with eating cake every May. So it was a bit of a strange feeling to be approaching my 25th birthday, a pretty big milestone if you ask me, knowing that not only would I be moving to a different continent but I would be having to make all new friends and find something special to celebrate with.My birthday marked a week after my move from Asia to Australia and I was excited to see how I would spend the big day. After spending a hectic week exploring the city, making some amazing friends in my hostel and partying in what felt like every bar in the city, one of my friends was planning to head to Melbourne where she was expecting to live and work for her last month in the country. Another friend booked us flights and before we knew it we were jetting off for a few days in Melbourne for my birthday! This gave me a great chance to visit a friend I met back in Thailand and to explore the city I’m already beyond excited to return to next January to live and work. I love Sydney, but I really love Melbourne and this trip gave me a great taste of what my life will be like there. While there we walked around the city centre listening to the amazingly talented buskers, we explored Brunswick St, went out near Fitzroy St and even squeezed in a visit to St Kilda beach. We did pretty well to see so much in just a day and a half and after we were done in the city, we headed out into the countryside to visit another friend and stay with him for a house party full of really talented musicians who spent the night playing for us.I think this was probably the least planned and organised birthday I have ever had which probably fits really well with my new life and shows how much I’ve changed over the last six months. It’s really interesting to look back on my birthday last year – even though I had an amazing time partying at a festival with an old friend – generally I was much unhappier then. My life was full of stress and worry as I tried to figure out what my next move should be and I couldn’t keep up with the demands I was placing on myself. The moment when I decided what I wanted to do, that I wanted to leave and travel, was the single most freeing moment in my life and it completely changed how I felt about the situation. It was suddenly so much more manageable and I felt like I could deal with it all, one step at a time. Now I can’t imagine ever going back to a life like that, travelling has opened me up to so many new opportunities and has changed the way I think about the future. A year ago my future was confused and uncertain, now it is wide open and pretty bloody exciting. If that’s not a reason to celebrate then I don’t know what is! So here’s to the last 25 years – each more epic than the last – and to being the happiest I have ever been. Bring on the next quarter of a century!
Birthdays – love them or hate them? Do you have a big celebration like me or prefer something a bit more low key? Have you been to Melbourne – what’s your favourite place there?